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Outreach and Enrollment Activities Boost Medicaid and CHIP Coverage for American Indian and Alaska Native People

The health insurance status for children in the U.S. has improved significantly, with the rate of uninsured children reaching a record low of 7 percent in 2013. However, American Indian and Alaska Native children remain uninsured at disproportionately high rates. Tribes and tribal health programs are using federal grants to enroll more eligible American Indian and Alaska Native children in Medicaid and CHIP.

Below are highlights of the outreach and enrollment activities of three tribal grantees:

  • Outreach workers in the Pueblo of San Felipe in New Mexico helped enroll eligible children during home visits, at school and at a school dental clinic. Families especially appreciated getting enrollment assistance in their native language. This grantee helped 326 children get covered and helped 350 children renew their coverage. As a result of increased reimbursements, the Pueblo of San Felipe Health Services has been able to continue the fluoride and dental sealant program at both the San Felipe Head Start and the local elementary schools.
  • The Seneca Nation of Indians in New York worked with other tribal sponsored benefit programs to help enroll eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP. For example, this grantee assisted children participating in the WIC Program with their families' Medicaid and CHIP applications. More than 500 children were enrolled through this effort.
  • The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina conducted outreach and enrollment activities that increased enrollment of the tribe's eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP. As a result, the Cherokee Indian Hospital outpatient visits covered by Medicaid or CHIP increased from about 35 percent to nearly 62 percent, as well as an additional $2.3 million in collections. The hospital also reported that more eligible parents enrolled in Medicaid because the grantee provided application assistance to all family members.

CMS is offering links/charts for informational purposes only, facts should not be construed as an endorsement of the organization's programs or activities

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